Crossett Library has the opportunity from time to time to act as an exhibition space. Douglas Campos ‘16 chose to display his artwork in Crossett at the end of term, and what a beautiful work it is. Below is his Artist’s Statement:
My final installation of porcelain sets originates from an ongoing investigation in memory, particularly the way that we as humans associate certain memories with objects as well as the narrative behind personal history and the ways in which artists disclose such history; memory and the way we recall certain memories can sometimes cross between truth and fiction. As almost an exercise of my own memory and history of significant events or/and people, I wanted to archive a set of eight, selected objects that I have held on to over the recent past. An archive, which in my piece manifests itself as a transparent, acrylic cabinet of labeled drawers filled with a blue gradient of colored porcelain multiples, serves to organize, structure and preserve collected information. I gained much inspiration in looking at cabinets of curiosities, which were encyclopedic collections of types of objects used by mainly natural historians, archaeologists, geologists, ethnographers and biologists. The idea of an archive is important to me and the piece because the fact that archives exist testify to the tendency that through history, we have to constantly organize and compartmentalize what is important or critical to us. I want my piece to not only preserve and even perpetuate the memory associated with the ephemera but I also want it to achieve what such historical cabinets did: collect and share information, which in this case pertains to me.
Furthermore, the piece itself also speaks to the nature of obsession, especially with objects, how objects become of part of personal make-up or identity and challenges the notion behind the value that we find in the quantity of our possessions. Porcelain slip-casting allowed me to take these one of a kind trinkets and relics and remove their unique attributes but also produce them in large quantities of blue-grey silhouettes, perpetuating the loss of value that the originals inherited. The labels on each drawer disclose just enough detailed information about the original objects, how they became mine and the year and verbally form a complimentary narrative about the pieces. The acrylic case, all together with the pieces within it, becomes a physical, literal representation of the mind and how the mind is a vessel for embraced and suppressed memory which I’ve chosen to pry open and allow the viewer to engage with and venture through it’s drawers.